Sunday, July 5, 2015

Marine Robotics Takes Hill Students to Competition in New Foundland

Members of The Hill School's robotics team at the Marine Advanced Technology Education International Robotics Competition in St. John's, Newfoundland. That's in Canada.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by The Hill School.

The Hill School robotics team, dubbed “Orange Mango,” traveled to Newfoundland, Canada, to compete in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Robotics Competition. This prestigious event allowed the group to showcase its underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in front of industry specialists and compete against some of the best high school engineering teams on the planet.

Prior to the MATE competition, the team participated in the Pennsylvania Regional Underwater Robotics Competition at Villanova University in May. By virtue of their outstanding performance in the regional competition, the group was invited to attend the MATE competition.

In the ice tank
The Hill is one of only two schools from the Pennsylvania Region that was selected for the MATE competition. The Pennsylvania Region also consists of schools from Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, New York, and New Jersey.

After weeks of preparation, six of the eight team members and faculty adviser Damian Baraty traveled to St. John’s, Newfoundland for the MATE competition (unfortunately, two team members were unable to attend the Hill School-sponsored trip).

The group encountered many challenges during their journey. Airport runway construction and weather-related issues in St. John’s delayed the final leg of the arrival trip by nearly an entire day, forcing the group to stay in a hotel at the Toronto airport. Not discouraged by the delay, the group found supply stores near the hotel that allowed them to make last minute adjustments to their ROV.

Similar to the regional competition, the MATE competition consisted of a marketing display, a sales
Making a presentation with their marine robot on display.
presentation and Q&A session, and an in-pool product demonstration.

The group starred in the sales presentation at the regional competition, finishing first overall – and, again at the MATE competition, the group’s strongest performance came in the sales presentation.

“We have already received some great, positive feedback on our marketing display,” Baraty said. “We definitely have the intellectual and communications skills to sell our ROV system.”

The in-pool product demonstration required teams to accomplish tasks in three areas: Science under the Ice, Subsea Pipeline Inspection and Repair, and Offshore Oilfield Production and Maintenance. This portion of the competition was the most challenging for the group, as they encountered numerous system failures.

“There is a reason we know more about the far side of the moon than the deep ocean of our own planet Earth,” Baraty said. “Water, electronics, and depth do not mix, making the marine environment one of the most punishing testing grounds for technology.”

While the group was disappointed with their overall results, they are proud of all that they accomplished in being invited to such a prestigious event as a first-year program.

No comments:

Post a Comment